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Lawsuit seeking fluoridation ban moves forward

January 05, 2018

By Michelle Manchir

A federal judge in December denied the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's motion to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to ban the fluoride additives used in community water fluoridation.

The lawsuit, filed in April by the Fluoridation Action Network along with a coalition of environmental and medical groups, came after the EPA denied in February a petition from the fluoridation opponents that, like the lawsuit, sought a ban on fluoridation additives.

In denying the petition, the EPA said the petitioners had "not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S."

The EPA went on to state that the petition "ignores a number of basic data quality issues associated with the human studies associated with the human studies it relies upon." The EPA also noted that it and other authoritative bodies had previously reviewed many of the studies cited by the petitioners as evidence and found significant limitations in using them to draw conclusions.

Still, on Dec. 21, 2017, a U.S. District Court judge in the Northern District of California, where the lawsuit was filed, denied the EPA's request to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing it to move forward.

The ADA has long supported community water fluoridation as a safe and effective way to combat tooth decay. For more information, visit ADA.org/fluoride.